It is good to look back. It is comforting to realize that as scary, out of control, or painful as a moment might have been, you know you made it through. Somehow, someway, things worked out. I often stop in the quiet celebration, thankful that Divine action has given me another day to play with. The question I often miss is one of learning. Did I learn anything in what I just went through? Will it be more than a memory that ends with a thanksgiving prayer for being alive?
There were two of us in the taxi. Given his military training, our mutual willingness to defend the other, and sense of what is going on, I was pretty confident. As I look back, the street was too quiet and still. This was supposed to be a street filled with live music and people. Other than a few stray dogs and people in the shadows, it was deserted. Nothing moved. The quietness of a back street in an Asian city can be disturbing. This street called for extreme caution.
“I do not think we should get out of the taxi. How about we call it a night and head back to the hotel?”
“We will be ok.”
“I am not sure. If we get out of the car, there are rules.”
“Stay in the middle of the street. Walk slightly in front or behind me. Be on high alert – always watching and listening.”
“Are you serious?”
The emotions in the last statement, spit more than spoken, was clear. We were on this ice.
One man described what could happen in a dark alley, out of sight from anyone that cared, this way; “They take my wallet and the shirt off my back, and then throw dice for my clothes.” (Psalm 22.18) It is dramatic and it is accurate.
I find that Life gives us telltales of the future. We can take the experience and learn, wiser and safer for it, or we can blissfully walk as if everything and everyone is on our side.